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Santa Fe 3751 Excursion from San Diego to Los Angeles ~ May 2nd, 2010

by Elizabeth Guenzler

Yesterday's chase, visits to former stations and riding the Sprinter had really whetted my appetite for today's ride behind Santa Fe 3751, a joint effort between the Central Coast Railway Club, the Pacific Locomotive Association and the San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society. After breakfast at Auntie Emma's Pancake House very close to the Best Western Hotel in Chula Vista, the four of us packed up and checked out then drove along Harbour Boulevard to the Santa Fe station.

Amtrak Pacific Surfliners and Santa Fe 3751 as we approached.

San Diego Trolley and Pacific Surfliner trains depart while the crew of the steam engine prepares for today's trip.

Pacific Surfliner 565 departing San Diego for its northbound journey.

Santa Fe 4-8-4 3751 at the Santa Fe depot.

A rear view.

Close-up of the rear of dome-observation "Silver Solarium". I then walked up the train, photographing its consist.

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy dome/buffet/observation "Silver Solarium" (ex. Amtrak 9252, nee CB&Q 377). Built 1948. PPCX 800333.

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy dome "Silver Splendor" (ex. Amtrak 9457, nee CB&Q 4735 "Silver Buckle"). RPCX 4735.

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy 46-seat coach "Silver Lariat" (ex. Amtrak 9452 "Silver Lariat", exx. Burlington Northern 7418 "Silver Lariat", nee CB&Q 4718 "Silver Lariat). PPCX 800190.

Santa Fe full dome "Nenana". PPCX 800124 (ex San Luis and Rio Grande 511, exx. Sierra Western 523, exxx. Great Western Tours - Eureka Southern, nee ATSF 511).

Close-up of the various numbers and names of the dome car.

Amfleet 60-seat coach 82570 (nee AMTK 21200).

Amfleet 60-seat coach 82530 (ex. AMTK 82046, nee AMTK 21623).

AMTK Horizon coach 54552.

AMTK Horizon cafe-couch 58107.

"Pony Express" baggage car (nee Canadian Pacific baggage-express 4210). PPCX 800320.

AMTK Horizon 68-seat coach 54500.

AMTK coach 82500 (nee AMTK 44174).

AMTK coach 82540 (ex. AMTK 81507, nee AMTK 44931).

Builder's plate on Santa Fe 3751.

Myself in front of the steam engine.

The domed turret of the Santa Fe station in San Diego. With that, all the passengers boarded and Chris Parker returned to the car to chase the excursion.

My boarding pass for this excursion. While I was in Car 1, I spent most of the trip in the Pony Express baggage car.

Looking toward the rear of the train with its four dome cars.

Climbing the grade at the bottom of Rose Canyon.

Steam floating back to the passenger cars.

The Pacific Ocean as seen at Del Mar bluffs.

Ocean, waves and flowers at Del Mar bluffs. We stopped at MP 233.2, the Coaster Poinsettia station for a photo runby. Many of the passengers detrained and made a photo line.

The front side of Santa Fe 3751.

The dome cars during the reverse move amongst the beautiful mauve and yellow flowers that were abundant in this area.

Santa Fe 4-8-4 3751 and her train waiting just short of Ponto for Pacific Surfliner 775 to come through.

The passengers of Pacific Surfliner 775 must have wondered what everyone was doing, until they saw the steam train.

The fabulous photo runby at 60 mph at Poinsettia.

"Silver Solarium" passes my location as the train reverses to re-board everyone for the rest of the journey. We departed at 13:24 and proceeded through Carlsbad and into Oceanside where we made a short passenger stop just after the Sprinter passed. Continuing on our way and crossing the San Luis Rey River, the train went through Eastbrook and Westbrook before it crossed the Santa Margarita River and pulled into Stuart Mesa for a watering and servicing stop.

Underway again, we cross the San Mateo trestle bridge before reaching San Clemente.

Rounding a curve.

Ocean views near San Clemente.

My first time seeing San Clemente Pier.

The beachgoers must have had a surprise when they saw our steam train!

Travelling through San Clemente.

One of the two World War II blimp hangars at the Marine Corps Air Station Tustin.

Part of the Santa Ana station as we went through.

Paralleling Lincoln Avenue in Santa Ana.

Rounding the curve at Orange.

The "A" of Angels Stadium, home to the Anaheim Angels Major League Baseball beam.

Anaheim Stadium itself.

Curving into Fullerton Junction and the BNSF main line.

Passing through Fullerton station.

Leaving Fullerton, we pass a southbound Pacific Surfliner.

On the Redondo flyover approaching Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal.

The Los Angeles River aboard the flyover.

The train makes its way off the flyover.

Looking back to the dome cars.

A view of the "Nenana" as the train approaches its destination. Chris was aboard this car.

The steam train comes into Track 11 at LAUPT.

Santa Fe 3751 and a Pacific Surfliner train on adjacent tracks.

Santa Fe 4-8-4 3751 at rest at LAUPT after a fantastic excursion.

A Gold Line crossing the highway on its approach to LAUPT. After taking our photographs here, we met up with Chris Parker and went to dinner at The Steer Inn Restaurant in Orange before Bob and I were dropped off at the hotel. Tomorrow, we would be riding Metrolink and visit the Angels Flight Railway.

What a day! Riding behind Sante Fe 3751 again, this time in Southern California, was absolutely terrific and the weather had been perfect. Thank you to the Central Coast Chapter, Pacific Locomotive Association and the San Bernardino Railway Historical Society for putting on such an excellent trip.